Procuring Cause of a Sale in Real Estate
A procuring cause in real estate occurs when a real estate agent or broker produces a buyer for a property, and can sometimes lead to disputes with other agents.
Disputes are often caused by a customers' lack of understanding of how things work coupled with a broker's lack of attention.
Avoiding Procuring Cause Disputes When Working With Buyers
Always ask buyers about their past home search activities and if they've worked with other agents as a first step to avoid disputes.
Buyers will often use a string of agents and may not remember if they are shown the same house with a different broker.
So if they have opted to buy the house through you, when you mark the contract in the MLS, the other agent may file a complaint. It's doubtful, but not totally out of the question, that the other agent may get some of the commission.
Open houses can also cause problems since the listing agent who organized the showing may also file a complaint. Again, it's doubtful the listing agent would receive some of the commission.
By checking with potential buyers first, the time required to settle any disputes can be avoided.